Sustainable Engineering


This IEMA accredited and multi-disciplinary programme embeds sustainability and sustainable development, providing you with the skills to design and construct new technologies, and envision engineering solutions that embrace the challenges of global sustainable development.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Entry requirements

One year 

Start date

Course overview

Sustainable Engineering is at the forefront of addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing our planet. This course will position you as a key player in creating solutions for issues such as depletion of resources, environmental pollution, rapid population growth, and damage to ecosystems.

This accredited course will enable you to innovate and bring forward more holistic solutions that meet human needs while protecting our natural resources, by equipping you with the necessary tools and skills in critical thinking, communication, team working, leadership, research, project management, and innovation.


"The journey of studying MSc Sustainable Engineering over the past year has been nothing short of transformative. I can confidently say that I have evolved into an upgraded version of myself, both academically and professionally. I believe that my aspirations for this course will be fulfilled, and it will undoubtedly pave the way for a smooth and bright future. I owe a great deal of my growth to the dedicated educators I've had the privilege to learn from during my degree."

Afsana Sharmin
MSc Sustainable Engineering
Current student

Why Sustainable Engineering at Aston University?

Industry experts
Designed in collaboration with industry experts, ensuring that you graduate with the skills and knowledge that are directly applicable to the demands of the sustainable engineering sector.
Book and pen
This course is fully accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), the professional body for everyone working in environment and sustainability
Unique degree
Currently the only degree in the UK that embeds a global design challenge and Seven Trent Wavemakers Industry Week within the curriculum.

Course description

You'll engage with a dynamic curriculum that integrates the latest advancements in green technologies and eco-friendly practices with critical industry knowledge and project management skills. This innovative approach ensures that you're not just learning theory but actively contributing to sustainable solutions.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching, in the UK's second-largest city, delivered by academics and researchers, who are actively involved in cutting-edge sustainable engineering research. Access to industry partners and networking opportunities through guest lectures and global design challenges. You will have access to world-class facilities, including industry software packages. You'll also receive free IEMA membership to access development materials and opportunities.

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What you will provide
We are looking for people who want to be future agents of change, eager to make an impact towards future sustainable development. You will need to be innovative and have a willingness to learn, in order to solve problems and suggest sustainable solutions to pressing environmental challenges. 

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What skills we teach
Through a balanced provision of fundamental and technical knowledge, and practical application, you will be equipped with the necessary qualitative and quantitative analytical tools and skills, and further develop essential professional skills, that will enable you to tackle the evolving, complex local and global sustainable development issues and challenges.

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Professional Practice Year
If you meet satisfactory academic performance and have secured a suitable professional experience, you will have the option to be transferred onto our MSc Sustainable Engineering including Professional Practice programme. Taking the Professional Practice route allows you to extend the duration of your Masters to 22 months and gain valuable working experience to support your career aspirations. The placement commences after the completion of your MSc dissertation and can be paid work. study abroad exchanges or unpaid research projects or even a mix of these options. You will return to Aston the following May for an intensive period on campus to draw all your learning together and finalise the assessments.

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Career prospects
The demand for professionals with expertise in Sustainable Engineering is rapidly growing across various industries. From renewable energy projects to sustainable infrastructure development, studying Sustainable Engineering opens doors to a wide array of rewarding career opportunities where you can make a tangible impact. Previous graduates have gone into roles such as Environmental Officer, Environment and Sustainability Engineer and Sustainability Manager, for leading companies like Seven Trent, SGN and the British Geological Society.  

How you will learn

Teaching and learning will take place through a variety of methods that integrate real-world problem-based learning in a multi-disciplinary setting. As well as traditional lectures and seminars, you will delve into practical sessions through site visits, simulation workshops and teacher- learner centres. 

The course modules will be delivered in a flexible manner through a mixture of classroom and online virtual learning environment settings. There will be a focus on multidisciplinary group work, collaborating with students across engineering disciplines, where the academic will act as a facilitator to enhance your learning through interactive sessions. 

This degree has strong ties with industry, throughout the course there will be guest seminars, lectures and workshops hosted by our partner organisations including EWB UK, Energy Systems Catapult, Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI), and the Carbon Trust. Guest expert talks/seminars are also delivered by other external organisations such as the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE Norway), Energy Systems Catapult, Planet Mark and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

Here at Aston University, we are passionate about supporting our students. You will have a personal tutor throughout your studies to provide support and guidance. The Learning Development Centre is there to provide maths support, and bespoke academic writing development, advice, and strategies for managing your studies.  

The course will be delivered by leading international academics including Dr Goudarz Poursharif (Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor) and Professor Patricia Thornley (Director of EBRI).

What you will learn

This programme is designed with the primary focus of embedding sustainability and sustainable development deep within the mind-set of engineers from all disciplines and industrial sectors. The main subject areas tackled, and skills developed throughout the postgraduate programme are: 

  • Sustainability & Sustainable Development (SD) in Engineering
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals’ and SD policy
  • Global Resource & Energy Use
  • Circular vs Linear Economy
  • Technology & Policy Pathways towards Net Zero
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • UK & Global Regulatory Frameworks
  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) & Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA)
  • Project Management

Practical hands-on work is embedded into the curriculum to apply your knowledge to real-world work. Whilst on the course you will have the opportunity to work on cutting edge research at EBRI, our world-renowned renewable energy research institute. You will also have the chance to work with our Estates team, using the campus as a living lab through bringing real projects to fruition, like working to re-vamp an area or implement equipment. 


Aston University boasts state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories equipped with the latest technology. Whether you're conducting experiments, simulations, or collaborative projects, you'll have access to the resources necessary to push the boundaries of sustainable engineering.

Students will have access to state-of-the-art research and laboratory facilities, including:

Severn Trent

“Spending time with the students during our Wavemakers – Industry Week has been utterly brilliant! It was amazing to see how much their ideas developed over such a short space of time and how they had assimilated so much knowledge and understanding of our industry and our challenges. The project pitches were fantastic, and I look forward to helping harness their talents in the near future.”

Richard Walwyn
CTO/CDO and Head of Asset Intelligence and Innovation
Severn Trent Plc

Course objectives

  1. Develops globally minded and socially aware engineers that are future agents of change, furnished with attitudes of service to engineer a sustainable world.
  2. Enables engineers to innovate and bring forward more holistic solutions that meet human needs while protecting our natural resources.
  3. Equips students with the necessary qualitative and quantitative analytical tools and skills that will enable them to tackle the complex local and global sustainable development issues and challenges.
  4. Develops the transferrable and professional skill set of students with critical thinking, effective communication and teamwork, leadership and management, and innovative problem solving that are necessary to meet evolving sustainable development challenges.
  5. Enables students opting for Professional Placement to enhance their career preparation through a period of structured professional training.
  6. Embeds sustainability and Sustainable Development deep within the mind-set of engineers in order to develop the skills to design and construct new technologies that embrace the challenges of sustainable development and the climate emergency.


Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Sustainability in Engineering Practice 15
Renewable Energy & Low Carbon Technologies15
Pathways to Net Zero 15
Environmental Regulations and Impact Assessment15
Life Cycle Analysis and Circular Economy 15
Project Management15
Research Methods15

Select one option from the module below: 

Module TitleCredits
Supply Chain Management15
Management in Engineering Enterprises15
Environmental Engineering15

Dissertation stage modules

Module TitleCredits
MSc Sustainable Engineering Dissertation60

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Gain comprehensive understanding and a critical awareness of current issues, mega-trends and scientific principles relevant to sustainable engineering practice and engineering for sustainable development.
  • Collect and evaluate research data, investigate new and emerging technologies and their associated policies and regulations and propose appropriate innovation, use or adaptation of engineering analysis methods and tools to complex sustainable
    development problems that require multi-disciplinary approaches, such as those with uncertain or incomplete data or specifications.
  • Select and apply business and management methods to effectively manage time and resources in business environments within the context of engineering projects.
  • Provide evidence of an in-depth knowledge and understanding of engineering design methods in the context of complex, global sustainable development problems, in order to generate innovative designs for products, systems, components or processes that can mitigate existing deficiencies, meet evolving end-user needs and enhance quality of life.
  • Showcase a critical awareness of the regulatory frameworks and ethical standards that govern sustainable engineering practice, and evidence the ability to apply appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques to assess and evaluate risks to health & safety, environmental preservation and commercial operations.
  • Demonstrate advanced level knowledge and critical evaluation of current practice, and limitations, of a wide range of engineering materials and components, by applying engineering analysis and design techniques that encompass life-cycle thinking and a range of commercial and industrial constraints.
  • Exhibit a holistic understanding of the different roles within a multi-disciplinary engineering team, as well as the ability and skills to exercise initiative, personal 
    responsibility, and leadership to contribute to effective team work.
  • Demonstrate creativity and originality in solving complex problems by independently appraising, selecting and applying advanced appropriate techniques, and the ability to effectively communicate their solutions to a wide range of audiences.
  • Successfully complete the work placement and communicate how the work placement has enhanced the student’s employability skills and awareness of professional practice, related to their chosen career pathway.

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.


Entry requirements

  • A 2.2 in a first degree (BEng/BSc) in an engineering or a related science and/or technology discipline, or equivalent international qualification.

As well as:

  • One professional reference
  •  A completed application form.

See international student information below for international equivalent information.

International students

IELTS 6.0 overall and minimum 5.5 in each area.

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway Programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Masters Foundation programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.



Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:


Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09.30am-4.30pm)

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees: £11,150

International students

Annual tuition fees:£21,500

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.


The course is assessed through a diverse range of methods, including individual/group projects and presentations, poster sessions, coursework assignments, portfolio preparation, as well as in-person and online examinations.

The assessment methods will reflect the most effective and relevant way to review your performance for each module. Therefore, each module will be assessed in a variety of ways to demonstrate your knowledge from that module and how you would apply it in the real world.

Career prospects

With the world increasingly prioritising sustainable solutions, the demand for professionals in sustainable engineering is on the rise. Aston University's strong industry connections, combined with the practical skills acquired during the program, will open doors to a multitude of exciting career opportunities.

The MSc program is designed in collaboration with industry experts, ensuring that you graduate with the skills and knowledge that are directly applicable to the demands of the sustainable engineering sector. 

Recent graduates from this course have gone into roles such as Environmental Officer, Environmental & Sustainability Engineer and Sustainability Manager, for leading companies like Seven Trent, EDF Energy, NFU Energy, Hayward Tyler, Johnson Controls, Equans, Liberty Specialty Steel, Varicon Aqua, Omexcom and the British Geological Society.  


Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Sustainable Engineering MSc at Aston University?

You’ll gain the knowledge you need to develop a successful career and make an impact in implementing and developing sustainable engineering practices in industry.

This unique course has a multidisciplinary team of expert academics from a variety of disciplines, who will share their expertise to ensure you acquire a broad knowledge from a range of subject areas.

This course will also enable you to have a positive impact on the industry and the environment through your understanding of sustainable practices.

Does the accreditation matter?

Yes. Gaining an accredited master's will give you the experience and skills you need to develop a successful career, potentially at the highest levels in the industry. 

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding career support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government has created a new post-study work visa.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

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